Two of those weeks. Half of 2018 has gone.
I made that chart about the demographics of the UK parliament, compared to the general population, and a sort of toy Total Perspective Vortex thing. Both were to polish up my D3.js skills, and a renewed effort to replace lengthy work on unpopular projects with briefer work on unpopular projects.
Also this past fortnight, lessons in the irrepairability of modern things. My Macbook Pro’s keyboard and trackpad stopped working, which can sometimes be fixed with a new ribbon cable but which this time, apparently, required a new upper case: the entire silvery top shell of the laptop’s base, with attached keyboard, trackpad and its cluster of battery packs. It does not look simple. £557.
Also, also, our washing machine’s bearings are noisily on their way out. Because they’re somewhere towards the centre of the sealed plastic drum that surrounds the machine’s spinning metal drum, repairing the bearings means replacing the plastic drum and everything within. Around £250 to repair what was a £500 machine five years ago. Or, we could buy a new machine for not much more, which I imagine may last as long as this one did.
I’ve recently been spending a bit more time on MetaFilter, whose recent plea for more donations and subscriptions has been successful. I mostly enjoy Ask MetaFilter, usually finding at least a couple of questions each day that are fascinating, for a variety of reasons. Here are a few of my recent favourites:
How best to organize large amounts of academic papers, books, etc.
I do not need to do this but am interested in how people do it.
Is my mom being scammed, and if so what can I do about it?
Yes, she probably is, unfortunately. A sad one.
Friendship in middle-age: WTF?
You need to get onto Facebook to keep in touch with friends, especially those with kids who you never see any more, whose lives you cannot possibly understand.
You’re not the piano man
A stream of people gently telling the questioner that maybe the problem isn’t what she thinks it is. Probably unhealthy levels of schadenfreude.
Is it wrong for me to apply for this job?
No; just because your male colleague really wants the job, you, as a woman, shouldn’t not apply.
👍🏼 or 👎?
As a white person is it insensitive of me to use the default yellow skin tone emoji?
This week we finished watching the second season of Flowers which I didn’t enjoy as much as the first, but was still worth watching. The first four of the six episodes seemed like they had too much going on, all in a rush, and it was hard to feel involved in any one part. However, it wasn’t bad, and it was still interesting because it was unusual and different.
I’m always disappointed that, given how much TV “content” is made, so little of it is in any way challenging or experimental. Even the stuff that’s rightly acclaimed as being good. So much money spent on so much telly that is so straightforward. So, even if Flowers didn’t, for me, fully succeed, it was good to see something that was odd, and trying something out of the ordinary.
One week I’ll feel up to signing off with something having the tone of the paragraphs that close Warren Ellis’s weekly newsletters, which I always find encouraging, but which I don’t have the oomph for. So, here’s Warren’s from this week’s:
Well. Another weird week done. It wasn’t comfortable. Sometimes it hurt. But it didn’t kill you or me. I’m always telling you - you’re stronger than you think you are. Remember to shut the doors and turn the volume down when you need to. Nothing wrong with dropping out of sight and looking after yourself.
Because, you know what? That’s what I do. I have a life full of holes and regrets and mistakes just like everybody else, and I’m still here, and so are you.
Hold on tight. See you next week.
That’s all. Keep on, I guess.